Obituary for Mike Boyle

We are saddened to report that Michael P. Boyle, longtime Mediator/Arbitrator at the Massachusetts Joint Labor-Management Committee, passed away from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on June 11, 2023.

Here is a link to his obituary, with information on remembrances.

Upcoming Webinar on Becoming a Labor Arbitrator

Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution logo

Join our colleagues at the Cornell ILR School Labor and Employment Law Program Scheinman Institute for a free 90-minute webinar on becoming a labor arbitrator. Monday, June 5 at noon with Arbitrators Jeanne Charles, Esq.Sarah EspinosaKeith D. GreenbergDeAndra Roaché and Haydee Rosario, Esq. and hosted by Ellen Gallin-Procida.

Click here for more information and to register for the webinar.

Obituary for James Costello

We are saddened by the news that IRRA/LERA Boston chapter member Jim Costello of Hingham recently passed.  Many members will know Jim from the Carpenters, Massport and the JLMC.  More information about services on April 14 can be found in the online obituary at, where you may also share your condolences with the family.

When Baristas Unionize: What Happens Next? MIT Teach-in on Thursday April 6 at 6 pm

When Baristas Unionize: What Happens Next?

Join faculty from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Department of Urban Planning for a Teach-In on April 6th at 6-7:30 p.m.

Room 276 in Building E62 on the MIT campus, 100 Main Street, Cambridge, MA

Serving refreshments purchased from Forge Baking Co. starting at 5:30 p.m.

Across the United States, more workers are trying to organize unions than at any time in recent history. Some are successful in forming a union and reaching a first contract with their employers; some are not yet there. Vivid examples are playing out in our community, where the local coffeehouse company Diesel Cafe, Bloc & Forge Baking Company and its baristas’ union successfully reached a first contract while unionized Starbucks stores and Starbucks Workers United have not. This is a “teachable moment,” and so we invite
students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear from employees, managers, and union representatives at this “Teach-In” jointly sponsored by the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) at the MIT Sloan School and by the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

We will explore:
What explains these differences?
What should customers do when faced with these different coffee options?
What is at stake for our community?
Is there a positive path forward for the future of work in this industry and others?


Welcomes (5 minutes)
Erin L. Kelly, MIT Sloan Professor and Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) and J. Phillip Thompson, Professor, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Background Briefing (10 minutes)
Professor Nathan Wilmers, MIT Sloan School
What’s at stake here? Why are these coffeehouse cases important?

Panel Discussion (30 minutes)
Facilitated by Phil Thompson and Tom Kochan, MIT Sloan Professor Emeritus
Jennifer Park, Co-owner, Courtney Verhaalen, CEO, Diesel Cafe, Bloc Cafe, Forge Baking Co, and Forge Ice Cream.
Ryan Murphy, Jt. Board of UNITE-HERE; and
Mia Kundert,worker/lunion representative
Julia Berkman, Starbucks Workers United. (Note: Starbucks management representative invited)
Professor Karilyn M. Crockett, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning and former Director of Economic
Policy and Research and Director of Small Business Development, City of Boston

Q & A (30 minutes)
Commentary and Wrap-up Phil Thompson and Tom Kochan (10 minutes)

WHEN BARISTAS UNIONIZE POSTER 4 06 2023 EVENT revised 3 24 2023

Boston Labor Guild Spring Courses Open for Registration

The Labor Guild School of Labor Management Relations

The Boston Labor Guild’s School of Labor-Management Relations is back with six Spring classes for union and management representatives.

Term 1 Classes include:

Lisa Field, President of the Labor Guild, Associate Director in the Division of Legislation and Politics at the Massachusetts Nurses Association
Virtual via Zoom, Mondays 2/27-3/27 6-8PM

Arbitrator Michael Loconto Esq.
Virtual via Zoom, Tuesdays 2/28-3/28 6-8PM

Paul McCarthy, Principal Collective Bargaining Associates, Consultants to Organized Labor

Virtual via Zoom, Wednesdays 3/1-4/12 6-8PM

Term 2 Classes begin in late April and include Basic Steward Training, Coalition Building and an Introduction to Arbitration.  Visit for more information and to register.  Classes are only $50; scholarships available.

Great meeting on Marriott Hotel strike

Boston LERA had a successful and well-attended spring meeting on May 9th in Norwood, MA to discuss “Marriott: Largest Hotel Strike in US History.” Robert Fisher, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, and Jeff Nelson, the Deputy Director of Research for UNITE HERE and the Research Director for UNITE HERE Local 26 in Boston, both spoke. The discussion was informative, spirited and mutually respectful (always a good thing) and the audience asked some excellent questions. Attendees felt it was one of the best LERA meetings they had attended. The chapter is looking forward to their next program in the fall, topic to be determined.